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Monday, Nov. 28, 2011: Northern Maine national park, Rev. Carlson and Occupy Bangor

Wary of Quimby

The Nov. 23 BDN article by Nick Sambides about Roxanne Quimby and Sen. Cynthia Dill is very interesting, but the little fibs still persist. The parcel in question is not 70,000 acres, it is 59,000 acres. I will admit 70,000 sounds a lot better than 59,000, and when all the media keeps using the 70,000 figure, no one will ever know the difference.

Ms. Quimby will be right in one of her assessments of northern Maine people — we are stupid and she hopes we will continue to be. When Ms. Quimby was questioned about the acreage she admitted that they were a little sloppy in their figures. She should hire a fourth-grader to do her number stories.

Sen. Dill, D-Cape Elizabeth, who represents the richest community in Maine with an average income of over $800,000 a year, has an organization called “The Friends Of The Maine Woods.” This is the group that would love to see all of northern Maine turned into a park.

RESTORE: The North Woods is not dead. The people who are pushing for a park have two things going for them: money and patience. Their strategy is to wear you down and this park is the first step. Beware of people from southern Maine who claim to looking out for northern Maine’s interest. You can see how that has worked over the last 50 years.

George Michaud

East Millinocket

Time for healing

Thank you, Carol Sherman, for sharing about forgiveness (“Failings at the heart of forgiveness,” BDN op-ed, Nov. 22). When someone wrongs us, causes hurt to those we hold dear, or commits a crime, it’s easy to forget that judging others is not our place and that forgiveness is essential to our own well-being.

My heart goes out to all in the Greater Bangor community who knew and loved Bob Carlson as well as to anyone he hurt or disappointed during his lifetime. I believe that all are worth saving, although that belief is often tested. I hope Bob’s lapse of faith and choice to act on that lapse will lead others to reflect on this, rather than judging.

Hopefully this pain will help many to make amends before it’s too late, and to also find the courage to forgive those who have wronged them. Whether or not a person can take responsibility for past or current failings, our ability and willingness to forgive is necessary for healing.

Martha Eastman


Bring back George

Last week, Jennifer Rooks skillfully interviewed our former Sen. George Mitchell on Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Watch.” His intelligence, experience and talents as a mediator were so evident. These attributes appear now to be desperately needed here at home.

In years past, he has worked with Ireland and the Middle East to broker peace settlements. Now our dysfunctional Congress and the supercommittee have failed to reach any agreement. The Republicans and Democrats are so far apart, we all wonder if there will be any healthy progress made to improve the economy. The Occupy Wall Street movement calls for transparent action to help give control back to the people instead of in the hands of the big corporations.

Sen. Mitchell’s careful thoughts and ideas were in stark contrast to the off-the-cuff sound bites of many of our current politicians. Let’s bring some sanity to our economic situation. Maybe George could help.

Joan Holmberg


Inside view

I was blind, now I see. My family opened my eyes when they showed me the Academy Award-winning documentary film “Inside Job.” All the world should see this expose.

What are the people’s representatives doing to stop this fleecing of the public? It’s imperative that regulation and stability of our financial system be restored.

Lewis E. Phillips


Too far from home

I’m left scratching my head about the latest BDN article which reports that state Sen. Cynthia Dill has vowed to work tirelessly for the creation of a national park in northern Maine, far, far, away from her home district in Cape Elizabeth.

If she were my state senator, I think I would be more than a little upset that she wasn’t working for me and the other constituents that elected her. Apparently there is nothing in her district to work on.

Steve Crouse


Who’s the freeloader?

I am a participant in Occupy Bangor. I do not encamp there and wish I had the schedule and the willpower to do that. I applaud those who are camping to remind us that there is grave inequity in our democratic system.

I have heard the occupiers referred to as freeloaders. I find that term a misrepresentation of this group of people. A freeloader is “one who gets a free ride, etc. without paying a fair share.” So who is a freeloader: the one who camps out in the park to draw attention to the fact that this country has gross inequities or the one who has so much money and has managed to get the laws changed so that he does not have to pay the due taxes on that money, forcing more taxes on the rest of us?

Our Congress members are voting on whether tax breaks to the wealthiest among us should be permanent. Please contact Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Mike Michaud and say firmly, “Do not make the tax breaks permanent!” The theory of trickle down does not work; history and recent history has shown us this repeatedly.

I hope readers will stop by the Occupy site at the Bangor Public Library and Peirce Park and talk with folks; find out how you can help. All of us should work for a democracy that respects and cares for all people; gives voice to and listens to all people.

Marty Kelley


LePage’s right priorities

Despite Gov. LePage’s efforts at avoiding cuts to LIHEAP, President Obama slashed Maine’s allotment by $32.6 million. This is devastating to our truly needy. According to Dale McCormick, director of MaineHousing, the average beneficiary of LIHEAP has an income of $16,500 and 54 percent are elderly or disabled. McCormick also states that “people will freeze in their homes at this level,” and “they will have to choose between fuel and food, fuel and medicine, fuel and rent.”

LePage is taking action to fund the heating needs of our needy, which affects 64,000 households. LePage is willing to make prioritized budgeting decisions, the same ones we make with our personal budgets.

LePage believes Efficiency Maine can take the hit: “They have lots of funds that are earmarked for projects over the next three or four years — but the crisis is now, for this winter,” LePage said.

The problem lies with House Democratic leader Emily Cain. Ms. Cain is opposing cuts to Efficiency Maine’s long-term programs, despite the benefits of helping our truly needy stay warm this winter. Ms. Cain is also opposed to diverting funds from MPBN toward heating homes. This alone could help heat 4,600 homes. Who is Ms. Cain working for, the special interest groups or Maine citizens?

Please contact your legislators and ask them to support LePage and to prevent our truly needy from freezing this winter.

Frances Maheux


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